Sunday, 10 February 2019


From 1962-1970 Yemen was divided into two by civil war with republicans against royalists. Both sides issued stamps. By 1968 the republicans had more or less won so these stamps were the last hurrah for the royalists (The Mutawakelite Kingdom of Yemen)
1969: History of Outer Space Exploration
The depiction of Apollo 12 landing on the moon made an appearance on this, a sort of miniature sheet meets stamp (giant envelope required). Apollo 12 landed near the Ocean of Storms, an appropriate choice in retrospect, for the mission is remembered for the rocket surviving two lightning strikes during launch.
Here is Apollo 12 launching on 14th November 1969. The three US presidents appear in the sky on the stamp and one of them, Richard Nixon, became the first incumbent president to attend a rocket launch.

The first man to exit the lunar module Intrepid was Pete Conrad who would later command the first space mission to the space station Skylab which involved him taking many tricky spacewalks to tinker with the space station which had been badly damaged at launch.

The lunar module touched down with little fuel to spare near Surveyor 3, a robotic spacecraft that had landed on the moon two years earlier which I think is portrayed on this stamp  -
with the other member of the of the lunar landing, Alan Bean, who quipped "Don't come to the moon without a hammer" when his companion Conrad struggled with deploying a nuclear-powered experiment package and as a last resort hit it with a hammer.

The other member of the team whose name appears on one of my favourite NASA mission badges was the command module pilot Richard 'Dick' Gordon.

The Lunar New Year of the Pig provides another letter Y this week here

Sunday Stamps II prompt of the Letter Y - for Yemen and year - See It On A Postcard

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Year of the Pig

1983: Year of the Pig (Design - Lu Tianjaio; Engraver - Zhao Shumyi)
A pig painted by the artist Han Meilin who has produced art work for other Chinese stamps and lunar new year animals.  He says the artist "should learn to love all animals, all the creatures, as well as the Earth, and put this love and beauty in everyone's heart".  I think he has succeeded with his adorable painted pig.
2014: The Manx Ark - Rare Breeds (Design - AJC Design)
Here is one nature has painted, a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig as portrayed by another animal lover, the wildlife artist Dr Jeremy Paul.  The Old Spot is a particularly chilled out pig, particularly relevant to the Chinese Zodiac whose animal order was decided on their arrival at the Jade Emperors party. The pig overslept so he was the last to arrive and became the 12th zodiac animal.

A Happy Lunar New Year

Sunday, 3 February 2019

X Ray

1995: 150th Anniversary Wilhelm Röntgen (Designer - Zauner)
Last week while browsing my German stamps for the Sunday blog post this strip of Xs hit me in the eye and I did a little happy dance for there would be no cudgeling of brains required for a tricky letter of the alphabet.  A celebration of the birth of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen who famously produced and detected X-rays on 8th November 1895, isolated himself in his lab to experiment further on various objects and then presented his results on 28th December 1895.  He had a helper on hand in more ways than one in the person of his wife Anna Bertha for the the first medical x-ray he took was of Mrs Röntgen's hand.  It is thought he took many pictures of her hand but only one survives, however it is not the one shown on the stamp.  The first x-ray to be made public was the hand of his friend Professor Albert Von Kölliker.
1978-79: Industry and Technology (Design - Boat Knoblauch and Paul Beer)
In Germany X-Rays are called Röntgen rays (no use whatsoever for this week's letter X!) and as can be seen on the bottom of the stamp the name of an x-ray machine in Geman is a Röntgengerat.
1978-79: Industry and Technology (Design - Boat Knoblauch and Paul Beer)
 A different type of x-ray machine can also be found in one of the buildings here in Frankfurt airport.
Röntgen and Rays imagined in 1896 by George Yost Coffin

The Sunday Stamps II prompt this week is the Letter X - for X-Ray - See It On A Postcard.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Water in West Germany

This week my Sunday Stamps is taking to the water in West Germany.  Near the southwestern shore of the Baltic Sea the biggest sailing festival in the world attracts millions of people every year to the city of Kiel. As they say 'from little acorns giant oak trees grow' for the very first event in June 1882 was attended by 20 sailing vessels, today it is about 2000.
1982: Kiel Week (Design - Börnsen)
In 1982 Kiel Week celebrated its 100 years and this stamp sailed into the post.  While visiting Kiel lets take a trip around the waterfront...
1964: Federal Capitals - Kiel (Design - Heinz Schillinger)
with one of Heinz Schilinger's (1929-2008) distinctive designs. He and his wife Hella designed dozens of German stamps individually and some as a design team but
1970: 75th Anniversary of the Kiel Canal (Design - Karl Oskar Blase)
another prolific stamp designer Karl Osker Blase (1925-2016) produced this view.  The stamp shows the Kiel Canal or North Baltic Canal and the tunnel running under it at Rendsburg, looking remarkably clear of traffic as a passenger ship sails past.  There is also another smaller tunnel at Rendsburg for pedestrians and cyclists.
1987: Europa - Architecture (Design - Wiese)
Taking the high road over water here is the Köhlbrand Bridge which from 1974 has connected the port area of Hamburg with Federal Highway 7 (Bundesautobahn 7).
1973: Protection of the Environment (Water) (Design - Heinz Schillinger)
I wonder what the water quality is like under the bridge and how many fish swim by?  The stamp is from a set of 4 which promoted protection of the environment featuring waste, water, noise and air with the Environmental Conference Emblem (hidden somewhat under this heavy postmark).
1980: Nature Conservation (Design - Heinz Schillinger)
But if one wishes to get away from it all this looks the perfect place or perhaps
1989: 2000th Anniversary of Bonn (Design - Peter Steiner)
sail along the River Rhine stopping off in Bonn, capital of West Germany. The stamp was issued on 12th January 1989, in November of that year the Berlin Wall fell and a mere 339 days later on 3rd October 1990 west and east Germany were unified.  For political reasons Bonn houses a third of the German administration the rest of course being in Berlin.  Peter Steiner is another significant stamp designer having produced about 70 stamps and since 2000 collaborated on many designs with his daughter Regina.
Map of 1898 of the North to Baltic Sea Canal

Sunday Stamps II prompt this week is the Letter W - for Water, week and West Germany - See It On A Postcard.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Vanuatu Volitant

2007: Birds - Herons
Vanuatu has 121 species of birds and 7 endemic species so it is no wonder that birds appear regularly on their stamps. The islands are covered with lush green tropical forests but the Reef Heron which is seen all over the Pacific stays, as its name implies, on rocky or sandy shores and reefs.  A solitary bird like most herons both parents share the task of raising their chicks.  The mini sheet shows every aspect of  a Reef Heron's daily life.  

The Vanuatu archipelago lies on the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' and has five active volcanoes and one active underwater. The largest volcano on the island of Ambae erupted in 2017 and 2018 (the latest incident as recently as December).  Volcanic ash has covered the island killing crops and polluting the water and the 11,000 residents were ordered to leave permanently by the government last year and evacuated to neighbouring islands.  66 of the 80 Vanuatu islands are inhabited with the 16 main islands being where most people live.

The stamp issue of Reef Herons consisted of this mini sheet and and a five stamp set.

Sunday Stamps II prompt this week is the Letter V - for Vanuatu - See It On A Postcard   

Sunday, 13 January 2019

United Nations

1996: 50th Anniversary of UNICEF
United Nations chose fairy tales as their theme for the UNICEF anniversary stamps with two issued from each office.  The stories chosen for the USA headquarters were The Ugly Duckling (whose story I always associate with the Danny Kaye song from the Hans Christian Anderson film) but I was not familiar with Yeh Shen but with the help of Wikipedia learn it is a type of Cinderella story complete with wicked stepmother, golden slipper and a prince. This tale comes to us from Tang Dynasty China way back in the 7th Century.  The stamp shows Yeh Shen (Ye Xian) and the fish with golden eyes sent to her as a guardian spirit by her mother.  The story is told here
1994: International Population and Development Conference, Cairo (Design - Jerry Smath)
Other child related stamps were issued for the Cairo Population and Development conference in September 1994.
These were designed by Jerry Smath a regular contributor to 'Sesame Street' in his capacity of illustrator for the magazine and the monthly calendar.  He also writes and illustrates children's books and has done other stamps for the United Nations including this one celebrating the hobby of philately.

Sunday Stamps II prompt this week is the Letter U - for United Nations, UNICEF, USA and ugly - more for U at See It On A Postcard 

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Tchad Trades

1970: Trades and Handicrafts
I like the muted colours of this set unfortunately I could find no information on the designer but here we have a dyer which happily for Sunday Stamps Letter T is Teinturier in French.  The other aspect of the stamps is the placing of the word 'Postes' so it almost looks like it could
be a post office although perhaps it would have to be at some distance from a tanning operation.
1961-1962: Definitives - Animals and Landscape
Chad commemorated its independence in 1960 with a stamp celebrating its admission to the United Nations and the following year issued its first definitives as an independent country.  This stamp shows the province of Batha which is right in the middle of Chad and presumably in the 1960s had many lions.  Deforestation and livestock farming means that in the present time numbers have been decimated.
1962 Postage Due Stamps: Rock Paintings (Design - Pierre Béquet; Engraver - Pierre Munier)
Travelling way back in time 6000 years then millions of animals roamed the area and the postage due stamps featured rock paintings from the Tibesti mountains in Sahara region in the north of Chad. The stamp description says - Tibestiox, which I presume is an ox
1962 Postage Due Stamp: Rock Paintings (Design and Engraver - Pierre Munier)

and this is Tibestiram which I first thought was a bird but I guess it could be a ram's horn. Your guess is as good as mine.
Place de la Nation, Chad

Sunday Stamps II prompt of the Letter T for Tchad, Trades, Tree, Teinturier, Tanneur and Tibesti - travel for more at See It On A Postcard